Recap & Photo Gallery: Brophy advances to AIA DI boys championship match after defeating Alhambra
By Garrett Cleverly
GILBERT, Ariz. - Brophy Prep is back in the AIA DI boy’s championship after defeating Alhambra 4-3 on penalty kicks at Campo Verde High School on Wednesday night in the Division I boy’s soccer semifinal.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1, the match went into the first overtime period, which saw both sides trade goals in the opening three minutes. Alhambra dealt the first blow when Benny Meza headed in a misfired shot. Brophy stormed back and scored the equalizing goal less than fifteen second later when Tyler Dial played a through ball to Michael Peay, who whipped in a low cross with pace from the right-wing. John Rea ran through the Alhambra defense and blasted a shot from a few yards out after the Alhambra goalkeeper couldn’t corral the cross.
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Brophy continued to pepper the Alhambra goal, but couldn’t find the match winner, which brought on the penalty kicks after 100 minutes of play. Brophy took the lead 4-3 on penalty kicks after Fergus Shanks buried the Broncos fifth attempt. With one last chance to tie and continue the PKs, Brophy goalkeeper Phil Mourikes stopped Alhambra’s final chance with a dive to his left.
“One of the craziest games I have ever played in,” said Brophy senior midfielder Tyler Dial. “To get a goal back on the kickoff after they scored in overtime is insane. We had a period of dominance and they had a period of dominance. They came down our throats and they were winning a lot of 50-50 balls and it was a scrappy game. We created a lot of chances and should have scored, but it was a great fight and it was a really good feeling to win on penalty kicks and we’re going to do work on Saturday.”
Brophy head coach Noah Lewkowitz, who was an assistant coach for the Broncos in last year’s 2-0 win over Desert Vista in the AIA DI boy’s championship match, spoke about his team’s performance after the win.
“It wasn’t my favorite performance on their part, but these games are always tough to win. These semifinal and final games because of the emotions involved. I’m happy we came from behind twice in this game to get the victory. I’m very proud of my teams, and whoever we play on Saturday will be an exciting game.”
Alhambra scored the opening goal in the match when Josias Ortiz found the back of the net in the seventh minute. Brophy scored the equalizer in the opening minutes of the second half on a Javi Bernaldo goal.
Brophy will face a familiar foe in Chandler Hamilton on Saturday in the championship match, which will be held at Campo Verde with kickoff set for 6:00pm. Watch Brophy celebrate here.